Families of the Order Blattaria Discovered
in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Can't find the families you are looking for? Note:
Families on this list are only those contained
in the ATBI database,
and do not neccessarily include
all Park families from historic park reports, literature,
or other sources that have not yet been entered in the Biodiversity Database.
In Case You Didn't Know ...
With their flattened body and long, spiny legs, these insects of the night are very adept at running and ducking under cover at the first sign of danger.
Though the cockroach has received a bad name, only about 20 of the world's 4,000 known species are considered as pests.
The cockroach order is considered opportunistically omnivorous, that is, an order of insects that will eat almost anything that they come across, including both plant and animal matter. On the other hand, they can survive many days without food. However, water availability is a must.
Because cockroaches are well-suited to human habitats, they can usually be found wherever people live, though they can survive well even on the forest floor.
All of the cockroach specimens taken in the park have come from general structured sampling using malaise flying insect traps, or pitfall traps. The fact that these insects have been taken in almost all locations where these traps were deployed attests to the ubiquitous and adaptive nature of this order of insects.
Taxon References for Blattaria
1.) Evans, A. V. 2008. National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America. New York, NY. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.